Wisconsin Cheese Head Images is a dairy product derived from milk that is produced in a wide range of flavors, textures, and forms by coagulation of the milk protein casein. It comprises proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. During production, the milk is usually acidified, and adding the enzyme rennet causes coagulation. The solids are separated and pressed into final form. Some cheeses have molds on the rind, the outer layer, or throughout. Most cheeses melt at cooking temperature.
Hundreds of types of cheese from various countries are produced. Their styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the milk (including the animal's diet), whether they have been pasteurized, the butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the processing, and aging. Herbs, spices, or wood smoke may be used as flavoring agents. The yellow to red color of many cheeses, such as Red Leicester, is produced by adding annatto. Other ingredients may be added to some cheeses, such as black pepper, garlic, chives or cranberries.
For a few cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Most cheeses are acidified to a lesser degree by bacteria, which turn milk sugars into lactic acid, then the addition of rennet completes the curdling. Vegetarian alternatives to rennet are available; most are produced by fermentation of the fungus Mucor miehei, but others have been extracted from various species of the Cynara thistle family. Cheesemakers near a dairy region may benefit from fresher, lower-priced milk, and lower shipping costs.
Cheese is valued for its portability, long life, and high content of fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese is more compact and has a longer shelf life than milk, although how long a cheese will keep depends on the type of cheese; labels on packets of cheese often claim that a cheese should be consumed within three to five days of opening. Generally speaking, hard cheeses, such as parmesan last longer than soft cheeses, such as Brie or goat's milk cheese. The long storage life of some cheeses, especially when encased in a protective rind, allows selling when markets are favorable.
There is some debate as to the best way to store cheese, but some experts[who?] say that wrapping it in cheese paper provides optimal results. Cheese paper is coated in a porous plastic on the inside, and the outside has a layer of wax. This specific combination of plastic on the inside and wax on the outside protects the cheese by allowing condensation on the cheese to be wicked away while preventing moisture from within the cheese escaping.
A specialist seller of cheese is sometimes known as a cheesemonger. Becoming an expert in this field requires some formal education and years of tasting and hands-on experience, much like becoming an expert in wine or cuisine. The cheesemonger is responsible for all aspects of the cheese inventory: selecting the cheese menu, purchasing, receiving, storage, and ripening.
The word cheese comes from Latin caseus, from which the modern word casein is also derived. The earliest source is from the proto-Indo-European root *kwat-, which means "to ferment, become sour". The word cheese comes from chese (in Middle English) and ciese or cese (in Old English). Similar words are shared by other West Germanic languages—West Frisian tsiis, Dutch kaas, German Käse, Old High German chasi—all from the reconstructed West-Germanic form *kasi, which in turn is an early borrowing from Latin.
The Online Etymological Dictionary states that "cheese" comes from "Old English cyse (West Saxon), cese (Anglian)...from West Germanic *kasjus (source also of Old Saxon kasi, Old High German chasi, German Käse, Middle Dutch case, Dutch kaas), from Latin caseus [for] "cheese" (source of Italian cacio, Spanish queso, Irish caise, Welsh caws)." The Online Etymological Dictionary states that the word is of "unknown origin; perhaps from a PIE root *kwat- "to ferment, become sour" (source also of Prakrit chasi "buttermilk;" Old Church Slavonic kvasu "leaven; fermented drink," kyselu "sour," -kyseti "to turn sour;" Czech kysati "to turn sour, rot;" Sanskrit kvathati "boils, seethes;" Gothic hwaþjan "foam"). Also compare fromage. Old Norse ostr, Danish ost, Swedish ost are related to Latin ius "broth, sauce, juice.
When the Romans began to make hard cheeses for their legionaries' supplies, a new word started to be used: formaticum, from caseus formatus, or "molded cheese" (as in "formed", not "moldy"). It is from this word that the French fromage, standard Italian formaggio, Catalan formatge, Breton fourmaj, and Occitan fromatge (or formatge) are derived. Of the Romance languages, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Tuscan and Southern Italian dialects use words derived from caseus (queso, queijo, ca? and caso for example). The word cheese itself is occasionally employed in a sense that means "molded" or "formed". Head cheese uses the word in this sense. The term "cheese" is also used as a noun, verb and adjective in a number of figurative expressions (e.g., "the big cheese", "to be cheesed off" and "cheesy lyrics").
5 Reasons Cheese is Actually Good For Your Health
It's the research we've all been waiting for: five amazing health benefits of cheese, according to science.
Say what? Cheese might actually be good for you? Old-school thinking is that cheese is unhealthy, in large part because of all its saturated fat. But newer research calls into question the link between saturated fat and heart disease. In fact, eating cheese (nibbling, not gorging) is linked with numerous health benefits. Here are 5 health benefits of cheese.
Cuts Your Heart Disease Risk
Some researchers think cheese might explain the so-called French Paradox—that French people have low rates of heart disease despite their affinity for cheese and other saturated fat–rich foods, such as butter and duck. Then there's a 2016 report that analyzed results from 31 prospective cohort studies (the ones that watch people throughout their lives) that compared how much dairy people ate to whether they developed cardiovascular disease. One major finding was that eating nearly 2 ounces of cheese daily (1 ounce equals a 1-inch cube) was associated with an 18 percent lower risk of heart disease. Writing in the British Journal of Nutrition, the authors propose that minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium and vitamins like riboflavin and B12 may play a role. Another key finding: eating as little as 1/2 ounce of cheese a day could cut stroke risk by 13 percent.
Fends Off Diabetes
Eating 1 3/4 ounces of cheese a day may lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 8 percent, says an analysis of cohort studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. There's more good news from the same study—people who ate about 3/4 cup of yogurt daily had even lower risk. Another study in AJCN, this one out of Sweden, found that women who ate just under 2 ounces of cheese also lowered their type 2 diabetes risk. The shorter-chain saturated fats in cheese were linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, calcium—which increases insulin secretion and may reduce insulin resistance—may fend off the disease, say researchers. Whey proteins might play a role, too, as they may increase insulin sensitivity.
Helps You Dodge Death
OK, that's extreme. But eating cheese really may help you live longer, per a 2016 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which followed 960 French men for almost 15 years to see whether the foods they ate had any relationship to when they died. The happy finding? Eating about 2 ounces of cheese a day was associated with a 38 percent lower likelihood that they died during the study. Perhaps calcium's blood pressure–lowering effects play a role or its ability to curb fat absorption in the gut, write the researchers.
Improves Your Cholesterol
Keeping with heart health, a daily snack of cheese may lower your cholesterol. A 2015 analysis of randomized controlled trials (research's gold standard) in Nutrition Reviews compared the blood cholesterol of people eating a prescribed diet that included butter or cheese. Although both diets had about the same amount of saturated fat and calories, the cheese eaters ended their trials with lower total and LDL cholesterol than their butter-eating counterparts. Their "good" HDL cholesterol was also lower, though—the opposite of what you want. The cholesterol changes could be due to calcium's ability to ferry fat through your gut so you don't absorb it and its associated calories (the amount of calcium is much greater in cheese than in butter). Vitamin K2, found in fermented dairy products like cheese, may also play a role.
Makes You Stronger
Eating almost a cup of ricotta cheese a day for 12 weeks boosted muscle mass and improved balance in healthy adults over 60. The researchers of the study—published in 2014 in Clinical Interventions in Aging—said that the milk proteins casein and whey may have fueled the improvement.